What Is Visitor Flow, Anyway?
In our business, we focus on website conversion rates. In other words, we drive more traffic to our clients' websites and then focus on converting those website visitors into sales leads.
One of the key elements is visitor flow.
Visitor flow refers to the various paths people take when they land on your website. When someone lands on any given page, we want to push them toward a certain goal. If you are an eCommerce site (I am using this as an example because the flow is rather straightforward, albeit long), we are pushing your visitors to search the store, view a category, or go straight to a featured product. The next logical action would be to add to cart; then to view the cart, then to checkout, etc....
So that boils down to:
HOME > CATEGORY > PRODUCT > CART > CHECKOUT > CONFIRM > THANK YOU
That's seven different steps we need people to take to reach our goal of the cash register ringing.
Techniques for pushing people further towards the end-goal include the use of calls-to-action, layout tweaks, button language optimization (click here, buy now, add to cart, etc...) and more.
While we can test the effectiveness of individual calls-to-action with advanced analytics tools, a simple way to get started is to dive into your Google Analytics visitor flow tool.
The Visitor Flow Tool
[image src="http://thinkhandy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Screenshot_5_10_13_10_20_AM-2.png" lightbox="true" alt="Vistor Flow Tool" autoresize="true" clickthrough="true"]
[blockquote]Visitors Flow is a graphical representation of the paths visitors took through your site, from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they exited your site.[/blockquote] - Google Analytics Documentation
The above graphic can look complicated, but it is actually pretty simple. The red waterfall on each step represents "dropoffs", or people who leave the site after viewing that page. Targeting pages with the most dropoffs is the best way to get started. Ask yourself what you can do to make the next step more easily accessible or apparent to website visitors.
Sometimes, though a website may look fancy and visually impressive, it may just not get the basic job done; which is more sales right?
Think about adding a call-to-action with high visibility above the fold, or high on the page.
Depending on how much traffic you get, I suggest letting things test for at least a week, so that you can get a usable sample of new data. After this period of time you can go back in and see if more visitors are moving toward your desired page. The key is to understand your audience, and give them more of what they need / want over time. You can navigate to the visitor flow tool by heading to Standard Reporting > Visitors in Google Analytics